Thevaccination cards are in the works, while theproject is being led by the administration.

Gary Leff at 29. March 2021.

The Biden administration is working diligently on vaccination passports for the United States. This could be used not only for travel, but also for certain jobs and events.

New York is working on its own immunization records. the World Health Organization, the European Union and at least 14 other organizations. And several companies want to participate. According to an official document leaked to the Washington Post, the US federal government is committed to promoting a safe return to social, commercial and recreational activities.

The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard for handling documents, often called vaccination cards, that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus, as companies try to reopen their doors.

The initiative is gaining momentum now that President Biden has promised the country will resume operations this summer, and a growing number of businesses – from cruise lines to sports teams – say they need proof of vaccination before reopening.

Vaccination certificates may be required for international travel, but not for domestic activities.

  • There will be enough vaccine in the United States for anyone who wants it. It’s only been a few months, and it will be a few months. By the time the vaccination cards arrive, everyone who wants a dose is already protected.
  • If everyone can be vaccinated, they are largely protected. There’s still a chance they get Covid, but it shouldn’t be hard. We don’t have a passport for the flu vaccine.
  • If everyone who wants to be protected is protected, then we should not be so concerned about those who do not want to be protected or about the exclusion of those who do not want to be protected.

It will take much longer for the rest of the world to have universal access to vaccines. Countries whose populations remain vulnerable will not want to introduce the virus. Vaccines therefore make travel possible, especially since there is evidence that vaccinated persons are not only protected against covid-19 but also do not spread the virus. Most international travel will likely continue to require proof of vaccination for some time.

Vaccination passports are no longer as important to the United States when everyone here has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, but these passports come with a number of complications. I have suggested that these complications make vaccination data more meaningful than actual protection.

  • Which vaccines count? China already applies vaccine passports, but accepts Sinovac vaccines (probably 50% more effective) but not mRNA vaccines (~95% more effective).
  • Does the vaccine need to be licensed to be approved? AstraZeneca is licensed in 70 countries, but not in the United States. Is a British citizen considered vaccinated after being given AstraZeneca’s Oxford vaccine?
  • What does vaccination involve? Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is a single dose, while Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are licensed for two doses, although both can be as effective as Johnson & Johnson after a single vaccination. What about AstraZeneca’s two-dose scheme, but with the UK sticking with the first dose strategy and deferring the second?
  • How long are passports valid for? Booster vaccinations may be needed, both to maintain protection and to allow for options. Are they needed to keep immunization data active? We don’t know how long the vaccines will be effective, but the vaccine information sheets should have the expiration date on them.

There would be many trade-offs to be made, each limiting the effectiveness of the guarantee that someone has been vaccinated. Not to mention the security of these passes.

In the United States, there is little reason to falsify an immunization record, as it is easy to get vaccinated within a few months. Only skeptics who don’t want to take them at their word but want to present themselves as such (and are not grandiose for not doing so) may have to falsify credentials to prove their qualifications. For the rest of the world, where the shortage of vaccines will continue for even longer, fraud will be a serious problem.

However, there are other reasons why some people insist on vaccination cards.

  • This serves not only to identify the skeptics, but also to motivate them to go on vacation and resume other aspects of daily life.
  • They can also be used to link specific vaccines to future health problems in order to assess the long-term effectiveness of the vaccines themselves.

Of course, the vaccination data used and the data available to the CDC are more chaotic than we often imagine when looking at dose distribution statistics. It can be difficult to link people to data in existing databases to demonstrate vaccination, and CDC vaccination cards are easy to fake – all it takes is a supply of cards that anyone can print and label.

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